The clash between Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals will close the action in the NFL Playoffs first round. Los Angeles’s victorious streak ended last weekend, and the hosts want to get back on the winning track. The away side hasn’t been too confident lately, but they look forward to a successful post-season campaign.
The home side lost the latest game at its field, but that defeat didn’t harm them a lot. Los Angeles searches for the chance to bounce back against a strong opponent. On the other hand, Arizona’s form has been declining over the past few weeks, but the visitors want to put their best performance in the Lombardi trophy race.
Los Angeles Rams – Will they bounce back?
The Rams enjoyed a five-game winning streak before losing to the Niners in the closing match of the regular season. However, that game didn’t impact their playoffs bid, as they finished on the top of the NFC West with a 12-5 record. Los Angeles actually took over the pole position from their upcoming rivals. Nevertheless, they will need to do much better than 265 yards in the offense against San Francisco in the previous match.
Matthew Stafford has passed for 4,886 yards so far, with 41 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, while he was sacked 30 times. Sony Michel is the Rams’ most productive rusher with 845 yards and four TDs, while Darrell Henderson Jr. has gained 688 rushing yards and five scores. Cooper Kupp dominates the receiving corps with 1,947 yards and 16 touchdown receptions, while Van Jefferson chipped in with 802 receiving yards and six TDs. On defense, Jordan Fuller has a team-high 113 tackles, while Aaron Donald has 12.5 sacks.
Expected Line-Up (Offense): Sony Michel, Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr., Van Jefferson, Tyler Higbee, Andrew Whitworth, David Edwards, Brian Allen, Austin Corbett, Rob Havenstein
Expected Line-Up (Defense): A’Shawn Robinson, Greg Gaines, Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd, Christian Rozeboom, Troy Reeder, Von Miller, Dont’e Deayon, Nick Scott, Terrell Burgess, Jalen Ramsey
Quarter Back: Matthew Stafford
Kicker: Matt Gay
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Arizona Cardinals – Can they raise the form again?
The Cardinals have been the most dominant team in the first half of the regular season, but they couldn’t keep up the pace. They booked just one victory in the final five rounds and slipped to 2nd place in the NFC West with an 11-6 record. Therefore, Arizona missed the chance to get the home-ground advantage in the first round of the NFL Playoffs. They lost to the Seahawks 38-30 at home in the closing round, gaining 305 yards in the offense, opposed to Seattle’s 431.
Kyler Murray has thrown 3,787 yards this season, with 24 TDs and ten picks, while the opponent’s defenders sacked him 31 times. James Conner leads Arizona’s ground game with 752 yards and 15 touchdowns, while Chase Edmonds and Kyler Murray have combined for 1,015 rushing yards and seven scores. Christian Kirk has been the team’s best receiver with 982 yards and five touchdown receptions, while A.J. Green chipped in with 848 receiving yards and three scores. On the other hand, Jalen Thompson dominates the defensive corps with 121 total tackles, while Markus Golden logged 11 tackles.
Expected Line-Up (Offense): Eno Benjamin, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella, Zach Ertz, D.J. Humphries, Justin Pugh, Rodney Hudson, Max Garcia, Kelvin Beachum
Expected Line-Up (Defense): Michael Dogbe, Corey Peters, Zach Allen, Chandler Jones, Jordan Hicks, Isaiah Simmons, Markus Golden, Byron Murphy Jr., Jalen Thompson, Budda Baker, Breon Borders
Quarter Back: Kyler Murray
Kicker: Matt Prater
Expert Pick #1 – Arizona Cardinals +4 @-110
Although Los Angeles has been in a better momentum, I’m going to back Arizona ATS as my first pick. They had time to refresh and consolidate ahead of the playoffs, and they might beat the spread here. This game can easily go either way, but I’m leaning towards the visitors.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 49.5 @-110
Their last two head-to-head matches finished in the mid-50s, and this one shouldn’t be much different. Both teams will pursue the place in the quarter-finals, and I anticipate a very interesting matchup that could go over a 49.5 margin. Give me the Over as the second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Cardinals Over 24 @+115
I’m going with the plus money odds for the third pick, backing Arizona to score at least 24 points. Their poor streak came as a consequence of poor offensive work, but the Cardinals have raised their game in the front lately.